Cllr Morris described Garrykennedy as a small little place but it has great tourism potential.

Council plans investment in Garrykennedy

A spectacular amount of work is being done by Tipperary County Council to enhance the scenic lakeside village of Garrykennedy, Cathaoirleach of Nenagh Municipal District Council Séamie Morris has stated.

Speaking at the May meeting of the council, Cllr Morris said he visited the village recently and was amazed by the improvements made to the local forest walk where the council’s outdoor staff had put down stone and cut he grass.

“Garrykennedy is an amazing facility. I can’t thank the council and its outdoor staff enough for the great work that is being done,” he said. “It’s a small little place but it has great potential. I want to say thanks to all the workers involved for their efforts.”

ABANDONED BOATS

District Administrator Rosemary Joyce said the council was involved in talks with Waterways Ireland in relation to the abandonment of boats in the public harbour in the village and on how to address the issue. Ways of obtaining funding to improve the harbour and village were also being explored, Ms Joyce revealed. Cllr John Carroll said the abandonment of boats in the harbour was very concerning. He had raised the issued previously on a number of occasions over the years. He said they were having a negative economic impact on local businesses. The number of camper vans in the village, he added, had increased in recent times. They were reducing car parking space and posing other challenges.

Cllr Joe Hannigan said there were existing byelaws for the lakeside villages in North Tipperary that could be enforced. A lot more consideration was required for these amenity areas to address issues such as extra parking spaces to facilitate increasing visits by those in camper vans and providing facilities for camping.

Ms Joyce said an influx of camper vans into lakeside villages was posing challenges and it was likely that such challenges would increase in to the summer as so many people were planning staycations this year due to the pandemic. It would require a level of patience by people to allow the council time to address such challenges, but also people had to keep in mind that visitors in camper vans also brought benefits to villages. As regards implementing the byelaws, that would be a matter for the council working in conjunction with the gardaí.

BERTH HOGGING MUST END

District Administrator Marcus O’ Connor said the inner harbour in Garrykennedy was not in good condition. The council outdoor staff had carried out interim repair work but something better was required. The jetties were fixed and consideration would have to be given to replacing them with floating platforms.

Mr O’ Connor said “berth hogging” by some boat owners was a problem that would have to be addressed as some craft had been moored at the harbour for a long time. While locals had to be facilitiated, this hogging was posing a problem. Some boats were there so long they had sunk. What the council would like to do is maximise the berthing facilities in the harbour.

Camper vans did bring benefits to villages and the council was looking at providing accommodation for such vehicles similar to that provided by Galway County Council at Portumna were up to ten spaces were provided for such vehicles.

TERRYGLASS AND DROMINEER

Mr O’ Connor said the council had already held preliminary discussions with Waterways Ireland about the provision of similar facilities in Dromineer and Terryglass.

Cllr Rocky McGrath said he had highlighted the issue of berth hogging at Garrykennedy in the past and was delighted that the council was planning to deal with the problem as unsightly boats were taking from the look of the beautiful village.

Cllr Michael O' Meara said he had already submitted a motion before the full council for an enhancement plan to be introduced for lakeside villages. Noting painting schemes introduced in the towns, he said a similar scheme for villages would give local businesses a great boost as the country emerged from the pandemic.

Ms Joyce said a painting scheme was not in place currently for lakeside villages but if Cllr O’ Meara had a small number of projects in mind he could consult with her on the matter to see if funds could be located.

Cllr Ger Darcy congratulated council officials, saying there were a huge number of enhancement projects taking place all over the district. He had never seen so many in all his years on the council. “There’s a huge amount of progress being made in the district.”

DROMINEER TOILET BLOCK

Ms Joyce said the council planned to replace the existing public toilet block at Dromineer with a much improved facility that may include a grass roof to blend in with the environment. It was envisaged that the new toilet block would incorporate changing facilities and lockers for those involved in water activities. A bicycle repair area was another feature being looked at. It would be a substantial facility but its development would have to be first approved by An Bord Pleanala. Pending approval, it was planned that construction would start in early 2022.

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